Concerns over obesity will be addressed in the government's Public Health White Paper, Health Secretary John Reid said today following the publication of a Parliamentary report.
"We will consider the recommendations in this report carefully and it is a valuable contribution to the consultation process we are using to inform our White Paper," he said.
Recognising that the report from the Health Select Committee may stimulate further debate, the government has extended the White Paper's consultation period until the end of June.
Measures the Government is already undertaking to tackle obesity include:
- Giving free fruit to 4-6 year olds in school;
- Piloting different ways of encouraging different groups to take more exercise e.g. free swimming lessons;
- Working to improve the nutritional quality of school meals;
- Piloting ways of replacing fizzy drinks in school vending machines with water and fruit juice;
- Improving school sports facilities and extending their availability to the community; and
- Encouraging better cycle lanes and walking routes.
A cross-Government Cabinet committee has also been set up to address obesity and wider public health issues.